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Budget outlines cuts in capital spending

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Electric buses are expected to be on the roads in the next few weeks (Photograph Akil Simmons)

Capital spending is expected to be almost $20 million less in the next financial year than was first estimated for 2021-22, the Premier said.

David Burt told the House of Assembly that $73 million was earmarked for 2022-23 – including $51 million for development and $21 million for acquisitions.

He highlighted that the overall capital expenditure budget was $19.9 million less than the original estimate for the current year.

The Budget book, which was published today, showed that revised estimates for capital development and acquisitions totalled $75.5 million.

Mr Burt, who is also the Minister of Finance, said: “The most significant items of capital development expenditure in the 2022-23 budget relate to the $7 million towards the Tynes Bay waste treatment upgrades and $3 million to be spent on the maintenance of our public schools to ensure that their buildings are safe for our students to attend.

“Mr Speaker, when looking at the $21 million for capital acquisitions, $9 million, or 42 per cent of that figure, is to be invested in information technology upgrades throughout the Government of Bermuda and in our public schools.

“These investments will make the Government more efficient while upgrading technology in schools.

“$5 million has been budgeted to purchase additional new buses and to refit one of our fast ferries.

“Additionally, the Government has allocated $1 million to commence the installation of the new island-wide CCTV system that was promised in this year’s Throne Speech.”

The Tynes Bay waste-to-energy incinerator on North Shore (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Wayne Furbert, the acting Minister of Public Works, told MPs last week that stabilisation works at the ailing Tynes Bay plant had started with the aim of extending the life of the boilers, said to be the most vulnerable part of the facility.

He added that a full refurbishment of the plant would take “some three to four years to engineer, tender, procure and execute”.

Electric buses that were unveiled this month are expected to hit the roads in the next few weeks and have been forecast to deliver a 50 per cent reduction in costs compared with older diesel buses.

The original 2021-22 estimate for the capital acquisition of buses was $6.6 million with the estimated figure revised to $4.2 million.

The Budget book showed that the 2022-23 estimate was $2 million.

Capital acquisition of new ferries was originally estimated at $5.6 million in 2021-22 and was revised to an estimated $2.1 million.

The estimate for the upcoming financial year was $3 million.

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Published February 26, 2022 at 8:12 am (Updated February 26, 2022 at 8:12 am)

Budget outlines cuts in capital spending

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